Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him ... See full summary »
Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him to another hospital and then yet another... As the night unfolds and they can't find a hospital for Mr. Lazarescu, his health starts to deteriorate fast. Written by
Shown at the New York and Chicago film festivals, October 2005. A Tartan Films release in the US, limited release scheduled for May 2006.
Puiu was inspired at nineteen by Jim Jarmusch's "Stanger Than Paradise" to become a filmmaker. He says "ER" is syndicated in Rumania: "When you watch the American show, there's movement in every direction, the choreography of the characters is amazing -- but I can't believe any of it." In "Mr. Lazarescu" Puiu does an "ER," Rumanian style. There's movement in only one direction -- following sixty-something Lazarescu, a drinker with a sore belly and a terrible headache, on a Saturday night in Bucharest when there has been a bad bus accident, after he calls 911. Puiu throws out hints of profundity with names in the script like Lazarus, Virgil, Dante, Remus, and Angel; and the trek from hospital to hospital as Lazarescu's diagnosis changes and his condition worsens can be seen as a journey through Hell. But the film didn't win the Un Certain Regard top prize at Cannes this year because of any message. It's Puiu's attention to detail, the precise planning of dialog and camera positions that gives a sense of documentary accuracy to the action and makes the film compulsively watchable and somehow unique and yet universal.
A splendid movie. Probably one of the top five selections of the New York Film Festival. There is much that can be said about it but really only one thing need be said: see it as soon as you can. Watch for a DVD release.
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